Vanessa: What do you do besides pole dancing (profession, hobbies, interests etc.)?
Stefanie: In regards to profession, I am an Event Planner. I currently work for the City of Mississauga as the Marketing Coordinator for both Celebration Square and Meadowvale Theatre. My hobbies and interests largely fall around the entertainment industry and dancing. Dancing is a passion of mine that I have grown up with, along with acting. Anywhere from a good movie to a girls night out is my kind of night!

Vanessa: When did you first discover or hear about pole dancing?
Stefanie: I first heard about pole dancing a couple years ago, I can’t exactly remember when, but I remember thinking to myself, “Wow, I want to try that.” About a year later, I came across a groupon deal that offered a month of free classes with Brass Vixens, and I took it as a sign to try it out!

Vanessa: Do you have any previous dance or fitness background?
Stefanie: Yes I do! I have been dancing since I was about 6 years old. I used to be a heavily competitive dancer with a dance company known as “The Canadian Dance Company” where I majored in ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, acro, contemporary, and pointe. I stopped dancing after my final year of highschool which was six years ago, and then got back into it with pole dancing last December with Brass Vixens!

Vanessa: What surprised you most about pole dancing?
Stefanie: The thing that surprised me the most about pole dancing was the amount of body strength that you need to accomplish some of the most basic tricks. I didn’t expect my upper body strength to be such a dependant feature I needed to be skilled in Pole Dancing. I’m happy I was surprised though, because that was the details that have challenged me and continue to challenge me through Pole Dancing.

Vanessa: What keeps you continuing to pole dance and attend classes at Brass Vixens?
Stefanie: I really enjoy pole dancing because it is an ongoing challenge for me and it never gets boring. I love the beauty of this discipline because there is no other that can make you feel sexy and fit at the same time. They say that beauty is pain, and pole dancing is true to it. The atmosphere of Brass Vixens is very welcoming, fun and friendly. I love how everyone who attends the classes and works out there is very supportive of their peers and open to sharing their challenges with peers.

Vanessa: Do you have any pole/aerial goals?
Stefanie: I do actually! My goal isn’t very specific, but I wanted to be able to get up to the InterPole level by the end of my first year and comfortably be able to pull off majority of the skills and inversions in this class. Unfortunately, I don’t think I will accomplish exactly that by the end of this December, but I did accomplish making it up to InterPole and training at that level. My main goal is to be able to see significant improvements in my upper body strength and to gain the skillset I need to comfortably be able to do all the skills taught in InterPole. I hope this will be accomplished by this upcoming summer of 2017

Vanessa: Do you have a favourite class and why?
Stefanie: As odd as it is to say, I don’t have a favourite class. I really enjoy all the classes the Brass Vixens has to offer, and currently I average anywhere from 4-6 classes a week. A class I really have learned to enjoy and appreciate however, which I never thought I would, is the flexy classes. I used to hate stretching as a child, but now it seems to be the most refreshing class that always gives me the same end result from the class: relaxation.

Vanessa: How has attending classes at Brass Vixens affected the rest of your life and sense of self?
Stefanie: I think when you dance at Brass Vixens there is a couple things that begin to give you a reality check in life. One of them is your self-esteem. You grow a sense of self confidence that makes you feel very capable of a lot – you stop looking for reassurance from others to tell you of your selfworth, and begin to feel it yourself. The second thing I have learned a lot from being a part of Brass Vixens is the judgement the world provides against the idea of Pole Dancing as a recreational activity. Any time people hear pole dancing, they automatically think a strip club and almost judge you in a sense by that. It’s a shame because I know many beautiful, capable women who attend these classes with me who don’t associate to this “looked down upon” lifestyle that the average public sees pole dancing as. Being a pole dancer myself, I feel I face these stereotypes and sense of discrimination from the public all the time, but because of my self-confidence, I am proud to say I pole dance and change one closed-minded view at a time

Vanessa: How do your friends and family feel about your pole dance passion?
Stefanie: My friends are very supportive of this idea and love that I really own up to this passion. They find pole dancing to be a very skilled and admirable achievement that in senses they want to try out, although I know deep down they are too shy to actually doing. But, little do they know they probably all will next year for my birthday because I definitely will be pulling out a private party class for that or a bachelorette haha! My family I think it’s a little more mixed emotions. My mom knows my passion for dance, although I think the stereotypical idea of pole dancing makes her reluctant to be proud to say it out loud. I know she supports anything I want to do so she still gauges interest in the topic, she just would never be one to suggest the idea to me. My father on the other hand, I have never asked his views, and to be honest, I’m okay with not knowing! Haha.

Vanessa: Heels or no heels?
Stefanie: Heels. Always heels. – Give a woman a good pair of shoes and she can conquer anything.

Vanessa: How would you feel about having a dance move named after you?
Stefanie: I would love it! I would just have to figure out what move exactly I would want to be known for. I think that would be the tricky party of the question, but I would be proud to have a move named after me because there would be a piece of me I left with something I am very passionate about.

VVanessa: What are your top 3 reasons to recommend pole dancing and Brass Vixens?
Stefanie: 1. It is a great workout. Better than going to the gym, and better than street dancing. If you can obtain the skillset of a pole dancer, everything else will truly become so much easier.
2. It is great for building a person’s self-esteem. It’s important that everyone is comfortable in their own skin and doesn’t care what other people say. When you make yourself as vulnerable as you do in a pole dancing classroom, it helps build a great base for a strong self-esteem for the outer world.
3. Who doesn’t secretly wish they could be a pro pole dancer? Not only is it sexy, but every time you see a good show like Cirque De Soleil, you think “Damn, I wish I could do that,” but the difference is when you train at Brass Vixens, one day you will.